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Reader Comments (21)

Posted: Apr 30th 2008 5:09PM (Unverified) said

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low server population is one of the reasons for guild hopping in my opinion. In a game like Eve online it's a lot easier to find like minded people since you have 150,000 or so to choose from. In Warcraft you have about 6000 per server of your faction. Once you find like minded people stuff just kind of falls into place.

Posted: May 1st 2008 8:50AM (Unverified) said

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I don't think it's quite that simple. Things don't just "fall into place" for all of the reasons I mentioned in the article. The dynamics of the game are such that to progress in a large guild, some of your quicker-advancing members will eventually hit a wall where they're doing content they no longer need for months to help the lesser geared characters progress.

Since there's no stigma for just hopping over that wall (by switching to a more advanced guild), it's a powerful temptation even for the most dedicated guild members. If your guild was formed largely around loot acquisition (as most raiding guilds in WoW are), you're probably going to choose to continue advancing your character somewhere else as opposed to a lootless raid grind of indeterminate length.
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Posted: Apr 30th 2008 5:26PM Scopique said

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Unfortunately, where WoW is concerned, I don't know how one can expect to fix this. The WHOLE GAME is based around loot. It's based on the idea that everyone has an equal chance to get the loot they need.

Locking loot to the guild is far more problematic then the status quo. That gives too much power to the guild owners, because they could use members to farm the loot, and then kick the members from the guild. Who gets the loot then?

Some guilds couldn't care less about loot, and are formed for a purpose, but those are usually casual guilds, or guilds in games other then WoW. The fact that WoW focuses on loot means that they first thing people will think of when they think of joiing a guild is "what's in it for me?". The two go hand in hand, and unless Blizzard does a 180 and changes the focus of the game, it won't ever change.

Posted: May 1st 2008 11:14AM (Unverified) said

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> Locking loot to the guild is far more problematic then the status quo. That gives too much power to the guild owners, because they could use members to farm the loot, and then kick the members from the guild. Who gets the loot then?

Who says anyone else *can* get the loot? Forgive me if this isn't the case (I don't play WoW now, and never was a hardcore player even when I did play), but isn't it bind on equip?

If Epic loot gets 'tied' in some way to the guild, it should *still* be bound to the player that equiped it. If the player leaves, he loses the loot (though maybe he should at least get the vendor value of as some sort of compensation); the guild should not be able to 'reassign' it to someone else.

That way the player can only benefit from the Epic loot if he stays with the guild that helped him earn it, and guildmasters can't use members to get loot with the intention of throwing them out later.
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Posted: Apr 30th 2008 5:44PM (Unverified) said

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Keep random loot drops, but make loot available for SPECIFIC classes, (in other words, properly itemized armor for everyone), if everyone of that class has the item, the item will not drop, unless everyone has every item possible, in which case it has no choice but to drop whatever.

This would mean more loot options from bosses, and of course, the dread of blizzard having to properly itemize things (no more hunter or rogue gear for shamans) and create proper class limits, that way, drops are still random but the more people who already have their items, the more likely it is the undergeared people will get their items.

A great example of blizzards poor loot system is ZA, did a run before... got 2 chests, everything was resto druid loot. We had 2 paladins and a resto shaman, all who had ZA gear, but our DPS was severely lacking in gear, although we cleared the instance, nothing dropped that anyone really needed, it was just a grind for badges, boring.

Posted: May 1st 2008 8:50AM (Unverified) said

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Yeah, this is what EQ2 does (sort of). Check out my article "I look hot in leather" for some more discussion of loot drop suggestions that could fix this issue.
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Posted: Apr 30th 2008 9:23PM (Unverified) said

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Gee, I can fix this garbage right now. Don't do the stupid raid game.

Simple huh. Yea, it is that simple. Don't waste hours upon hours of your life for a piece of dumb virtual shoulders.

Can't wait for Warhammer so when we all get to max level we can worry about destroying the other races instead of doing boring raids.

Posted: May 1st 2008 8:50AM (Unverified) said

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Not good enough. For some people, the raid game IS the game, and this is a real issue that almost every serious raiding guild in World of Warcraft has has to deal with at some point. It wasn't nearly as much of a problem in older games, where guild-hopping was frowned upon and ditching your guild could easily get you blacklisted.

It's all a matter of perspective. I think that doing mindless PvP repeatedly at max level sounds a lot more boring than defeating challenging and complex raid scenarios with your friends. Saying that one shouldn't play the raid game as a "fix" to a perceived flaw in the system is like saying that you shouldn't PvP because there's a cheap move someone can do that's unbalanced.

You don't stop playing the game you enjoy. You talk about the problem and hope the designers address it.
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Posted: Apr 30th 2008 9:24PM (Unverified) said

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Had this discussion recently with my guild. About half our raiders are fully geared out in t4 and some t5 now, while the other half is still signing up for kara runs trying desperately to catch up. We have all been together since about 2 days after release but some of our players are getting REALLY tired of killing lewttheridon and want to progress further into bt. Main problem is the loot that has been dropping for the last few months has been mainly plate and melee gear. We have even put a ticket in about 5 times about it. So we have half the guild antzy as hell and the other half about ready to quit all together.
The only way to fix the loot problems in wow is add truely random loot to raid bosses. There is a random loot generator in the game, we see stuff all the time with weird stats. Just add a couple peices of random purples and HEY how about a legendary once in a freaking while for those of us with full time jobs? As it stands now it can be incredibly hard to get certain classes to raid certain dungeons due to preset subpar gear for the needed classes. If you know what a boss *might* drop and you dont need any of it, why show up?

Posted: May 1st 2008 12:09AM (Unverified) said

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Tobold's solution is completely unworkable. I wouldn't join a guild with rules like that. If it was the game that made it so, I wouldn't play that game.

The question is, which is more important to the designers, the guilds, or the individuals? Ultimately the game designers determine who has rights to the loot. But _I_ pay monthly to play the game, as an individual. Being just a cog in an impersonal machine isn't fun, and I won't pay monthly to "enjoy" being at the mercy of the guildleader's whims.

Quite frankly, all of the solutions to fix the "problem" of people leaving guilds with their equipment are worse than the disease. Sure, it sucks when someone gears up and gquits, but presumably the cutting edge equipment will be going to the most dedicated members anyway. Guilds never give away top-end equipment to people who gquit without good reason.

Posted: May 1st 2008 8:50AM (Unverified) said

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That's exactly the problem, though. The most dedicated members are there attending raids the most, and they're the ones who tend to get geared up the fastest.

They're also the ones who care the most about character advancement and seeing new content. Suddenly, they're faced with the choice of either waiting for months of the same content while everyone else gets to where they are (and often it can be frustrating getting your less motivated members to show up for raids on a consistent basis), or switching immediately to a new guild that's progressed further and seeing that content today.

Immediate satisfaction is a powerful lure. Tobold's solution might be unworkable, but there has to be a way to fix it.
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Posted: May 1st 2008 8:34AM Ghen said

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zebra on a motorcycle

Posted: May 1st 2008 8:51AM (Unverified) said

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Yeah, it's supposed to be an epic'd out character zooming away from his guild. Like it?
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Posted: May 2nd 2008 12:18AM (Unverified) said

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So how about this: Instead of penalizing people for switching guilds, why not just indicate how many times they have been present for certain boss kills? This would show everyone that the player has paid his/her dues.

My stance is that the people who show up for every raid and get all the best equipment deserve progression, and if their guild isn't moving forward, they deserve to have the option of leaving for a better one. If everyone shows up for every raid, then they'll all get gear equally. This is the whole idea behind DKP, in fact.

So if your guild operates a DKP system and someone manages to get geared up in a shorter time than other players, that means that he has attended more total hours of raiding than the other players in that time.

Is it fair that they should be able to hold him back if he realizes that they will never catch up to his level of dedication?

DKP is a pre-existing solution to this problem, and works well enough.

Tobold's solution basically rewards sloth and incompetence. It is the DKP version of communism, saying "No matter how badly your guild performs, the best players will never be able to advance beyond the worst players in the guild."

Tobold's solution would end up making guilds huge, bloated 500-person entities, big enough to contain both competent and incompetent players, where players never switch guilds ever.

Cliques would form of elite players where only certain guildmembers would be allowed in certain raids. Raid Leaders would demand the ability to form subguilds inside of the main guild where they would only take members of certain ranks.

Ironically, so we come full circle.

Posted: May 2nd 2008 12:21AM (Unverified) said

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You're assuming the equal amounts of gear drop for the equal amounts of classes that need that gear in the raid, which is almost never the case.

Even with the fairest DKP system in the world, if you have 5 priests and 2 rogues that you bring to raids, the rogues will probably get geared out faster than the priests just because there's fewer of them to divvy up the leather.

Also, since there's also no guarantee that equal amounts of each gear type drop, it's possible that you'd get nothing but plate for weeks. The result there is that all of your plate classes get lots of gear while everyone else gets nothing, just because that's what happened to drop. Everyone putting the same amount of time in is meaningless if there's no gear to bid on.
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Posted: May 6th 2008 10:05AM (Unverified) said

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It strikes me that guild-hopping isn't really a bad thing, it's a solution to the unequal loot distribution problem. It may be a little hard to bear for those left behind, but if your tank is geared up then why not let them move on and bring a tank that still needs gearing instead? If you don't, you're only going to end up sharding gear that a lesser-geared tank could do with.

Posted: May 6th 2008 8:20PM (Unverified) said

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Its not a viable solution because that person who moves on leave the people who put in all the work for her gear behind, often without the ability to continue working to get the same gear for themselves.

One person gets a jump ahead off the backs of several others, who are then cut out of the loop and knocked off the ladder of the system of progression by losing a member who's role they cannot fill from the remaining ranks.

equal efffort results in vastly unequal reward.
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Posted: May 6th 2008 10:05AM (Unverified) said

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What if badge loot was purchasable with shards at a high price? That way, if you keep looting plate, you can shard it and buy clothie gear. It adresses the guild hopping issue by adressing the progression stalling issue.

One way to do this could also be to give loot masters the power to "disempower" loot into badges of justice even if they're not enchanters. One piece of epic gear = one badge of justice. Loot enough useless gear and you'll have a nice free piece of purple awesomeness.

Posted: May 6th 2008 11:23AM (Unverified) said

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I've always thought placing a cool down on joining a guild after leaving another would ultimately lead to more loyalty.

Under the current system a player can change guilds as often as they like with no reason to stop them. I think that if guild membership had a cool down, so once leaving a guild you couldn't join another for X amount of days people would be much more inclined to stick with a guild and see the guilds they are in through progression.

Posted: May 6th 2008 5:14PM (Unverified) said

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Thus far, the badges and token + sunmote have been the best systems seen. DKP is decent but requires a lot of restrictions to be in place if you don't want to discourage new members.

With the badge system, it's much like the PVP system. You know that you'll get your new item after X runs of Y. Not as glamorous as random drops, but it at least eliminates you having run the same instance for weeks, only to lose the roll each time to someone that's either never or on respecs the next week.

I admit, I love seeing a boss drop something I need, but if collecting 100 badges nets me the same result, I'll take it as well. Considering in some cases, the 100 badges is faster, I'm not really complaining.

We could be even less glamorous about it and tweak the Sunwell system further. Just have it drop boss tokens. You get X tokens per boss which, with a Sunmote, can be exchanged for anything on that bosses loot table. No more random drops outside super-special things. Here's your token. Use it. The one nice plus here is that it fixes the tier token issue that was especially prevalent in the T4/5 tokens (Defender, anyone?).

In the end, we've got a few loot systems in place to help the problem. They're not sexy or overly interesting, but they do provide the end result of loot.
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